Stihl’s FSA 90 R string trimmer is their new, professional-grade, battery powered string trimmer.
Stihl? Battery-powered? Yep, we are still (Stihl) getting used to the idea of it ourselves. But we checked out the Stihl FSA 45 and Stihl FSA 57 string trimmers as well, and weren’t all that impressed.
But, we are ready to get hurt again! The FSA 90 brings the promise of professional landscaper-type quality and power to the table. So for now, we are listening.
Let’s put this Stihl string trimmer under the microscope:
- Gas vs Battery string trimmers
- Final review: Stihl FSA 90 R String trimmer
Why we review lawn tools
The reason we started this website in the first place was because we had so much trouble trying to find reasonable, understandable, honest reviews for lawn equipment. And it’s not cheap! After hours and hours of research, trying products and returning them, and messing up our yards – we started this site.
As people who had to learn the hard way, we want you to know exactly what you are signing up for before you purchase a piece of equipment. That’s why we are committed to providing honest, easy-to-understand reviews that mean something.
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Gas vs Electric String Trimmer
When purchasing a piece of lawn equipment in 2022 it’s important to understand your power source options. It basically boils down to gas or electric trimmers. Electric trimmers are typically easier to start and usually maintenance is a breeze. They also have less of a noise and environmental impact. Electric trimmers are usually a good bet for small to medium-sized jobs.
Trimmers powered by gas usually end up having more power and are more suitable for larger, more commercial type applications. This is mainly due to the issues the professionals have with keeping them charged. But not all of us are professionals, we just want a badass string trimmer from Stihl.
Stihl is still at it! Pumping out high quality product after high quality product. They’re thought of as one of the GOATS of the yard product game. The boys in orange are known to have a superior product to their competitors.
The world’s largest chainsaw manufacturer, the company moved some operations to Virginia in the 1970s and opened up their first factory dedicated to a single chainsaw. They have continued to master their craft and expand their product offers in the lawn care space.
Stihl has a great reputation that many commercial landscapers rely on each day. Many residential owners will be more than pleased with their products.
We took the liberty of compiling a list of the best Stihl weed eaters here.
Stihl FSA 90 R String Trimmer: Features and benefits
Now that we’ve given you a quick primer on Stihl, the world of battery powered lawn tools, and our motivation for writing these reviews, let’s get started actually checking out the Stihl FSA 90 R string trimmer.
Power: FSA 90 R
Let’s cut right to the chase. When it comes to a string trimmer, power is of the utmost importance. The first positive piece of information I can give you about this string trimmer is that it has a nice 15” cutting swath.
15 inches is consistent with the gas-powered professional lawn tools and is a non-negotiable for anyone who has a yard bigger than ¼ of an acre. Trimmers of this size allow you to cut through thicker brush with more consistency than smaller trimmers. It also allows you to tilt this thing sideways and do a pretty darn good job edging as well.
If you need to go even further and do some brushcutting, Stihl has made a handy guide of add-ons that can be used with the FSA 90 R.
The power on this trimmer is definitely good for any homeowner and can even be used by the professional landscapers of the world. In areas that are noise-sensitive (schools, businesses, etc.), popping this trimmer off of the trailer and doing a bang-up job is super easy. While it wouldn’t be my main trimmer in my lawn tool arsenal if I were a pro, it can definitely be a good compliment and please your customers.
Where Stihl fell short with their other string trimmers, they made up for in usability. The Stihl FSA 90 R string trimmer has a nice long shaft (no jokes), which I prefer (please don’t joke) because of how much easier it is to use. It allows you to be much more precise in handling the trimmer, almost surgical. With this one, I didn’t feel like I had to crank my shoulder because it has a nice rubber loop handle and the battery is located in a well-balanced spot.
One thing I liked about the battery’s location was that it didn’t hang underneath the handle or anywhere else. It compactly slides into the top of the trimmer, making the whole thing feel solid.
At just under 10lbs with the battery on, it’s definitely one of the lighter weight pro-style string trimmers on the battery market. It also comes with this nice little built-in hook that allows you to hang it on a garage rack or even a nail.
All-in-all, this thing was super easy to use and felt comfortable the whole time.
Durability is also one of the huge question marks on the FSA 90 R and all battery-powered string trimmers for that matter.
CORRECTION: I previously stated that this trimmer did NOT have a brushless motor. I was wrong! As one of our YouTube viewers pointed out (shoutout Milton), these do in fact have brushless motors that are electronically controlled.
Stihl highlights their brushless motor technology on this page, but not on the product main page or in the manual.
Brushless motors are great because they provide a more reliable, durable, cooler-running motor as compared to brushed motors.
Price and value
The Stihl FSA 90 R string trimmer is going to run you well over $400 for the tool, battery, and charger. If you are #blessed and already own a Stihl battery, you can get the tool-only version for just under $400 from Ace Hardware.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this is a great deal. If you are looking for a nice pro-grade string trimmer, I recommend checking out EGO string trimmers instead.
String Trimmer Line for Stihl FSA 90 R
We developed an amazing string trimmer line that we tested against DOZENS of other lines. Check it out here.
The Final Verdict: Stihl FSA 90 R String Trimmer
Sad to say it, but this Stihl string trimmer falls into the same category as the other more residential offerings. It by far has the most power, but it comes at a steep price compared to some of its peers, like some of the EGO string trimmers.